Flight Data Recorders: Past, Present, and Future





Citation of Original Publication

Raza, Waleed, Justus Renkhoff, Olayemi Ogirimah, Richard S. Stansbury, and Houbing Song. “Flight Data Recorders: Past, Present, and Future.” IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, 2023, 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1109/MAES.2023.3335333.


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Devices that record data generated by an aircraft and its crew during operation are known as flight data recorders (FDR) and cockpit voice recorders (CVR). Data recorded by these devices enable the analysis of aircraft state and behavior from take-off to landing. The information provided by these devices is used to conduct inspections, investigations, training, and other measures by aviation experts following hazardous events or accidents. As of today, multiple instruction manuals covering the specifications of FDRs and CVRs have been presented by various organizations, experts, and scientists within the aviation industry. However, no consolidated research document that brings all this information together for regulatory and technical purposes has been published yet. Our objective is to carry out an in-depth study of FDRs for both manned and unmanned systems. We aim to examine the requirements used in the past, current technological advancements, and future intelligent FDR approaches, intending to advance FDR technology. Starting with manned aviation systems, we provide a comprehensive overview of general FDRs and then look at new challenges and the resulting requirements for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). After reviewing all relevant resources, we present a roadmap for the next generation of FDRs.